Rotisserie Grill, 25 Taps Planned at Tavern 4 & 5

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February’s winner: Liz Brenner of Minneapolis

Tavern 4 & 5 (opens in late April)

16396 Wagner Way, Eden Prairie

A new restaurant entering the sea of chain restaurants that is Eden Prairie, Tavern 4 & 5 is set to open next month in the former Prairie Ale House space.

Well, Tavern 4 & 5 is kind of a chain in that its owners, Nova Restaurant Group, are behind Tonka Bay’s Hazellewood Grill and Rochester’s Pescara and Chester’s Kitchen and Bar. And the chef leading Tavern 4 & 5’s menu is Scott Foster, a veteran of Nova’s kitchens as well as Redstone.

But given the options currently available in the area, I’ll venture that an all-occasion restaurant with 25 planned craft beer taps might get some folks excited.

Gina Foster, Nova’s director of marketing, said Tavern 4 & 5 should open by late April and was sensitive to bringing great food and microbrews that appeal to everybody.

“The owners really understand the aches and pains that Eden Prairie has gone through, especially in that location,” she said. “With the Prairie Ale House there was a lot of expectation and disappointment — people want great food, and the people out there don’t want to have to drive down to Minneapolis to get great food and beer.”

The menu will center around rotisserie chicken as well as wood-fired pizzas and a special emphasis on salads. For instance, there will be a signature rotisserie chicken dish but that same chicken may find its way into a salad, a sandwich, or some other variation.

“Who knows what Scott’s got up his sleeve, but one thing about Scott is you’re always going to get great food with lots of character,” Gina Foster said. “Nothing too ‘foofy.’ Just food that’s really got a lot of flavor.”

Well-known restaurant architects Shea, Inc. are working with Tavern 4 & 5 as well, creating a dining room with natural tones, “earthy but welcoming,” Foster said. Service is also a high priority for the owners, Foster said, as “the servers all take classes on the menu and make sure they’re aware of the flavor profiles.”

Tavern 4 & 5 should open in late April and begin breakfast service May 1.

Rincon 38 (now open)

3801 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.824.4052

Chef Hector Ruiz’s new tapas joint is finally open, and as Rincon 38 is serving an eclectic array of small plates — from potato croquettes to steamed mussels to tuna-stuffed piquillo peppers — the menu doesn’t appear to have a single dud.

Ruiz, who also owns Cafe Ena and recently shuttered El Meson, has stuck with a central theme of southern Europe-inspired dishes and wines, with a small, mostly Mexican beer selection available, too.

“The base of the restaurant is going with a Spanish theme — small plates,” he said. “And then we’ll kind of jump into countries next to there like French and Italian versions of small plates.”

Anyone who’s eaten his food knows Ruiz can cook; the tapas theme means you can try several. Rincon 38 is a small space, but it’s open 3-midnight, so there are plenty of opportunities to grab a table. A patio will open up more seating once the weather warms, too.

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

Kinsen Noodles and Bar (closed)

1300 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis

In our initial review of Kinsen Noodles and Bar in summer 2011, Heavy Table’s John Garland rather prophetically asked, “Uptown’s appetite for Southeast Asian cuisine is apparently limitless. Is Pad Thai magically exempt from the laws of market saturation?”

The market must have caught up, as Kinsen closed its doors Feb. 27. That’s too bad, as Garland said, “It may be just a few technical adjustments away from one of the better noodle destinations in town.” Kinsen’s owners’ other Minneapolis restaurant, Kindee Thai, is still open at 719 S 2nd St.

NOW OPEN

  • Rincon 38, 3801 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.824.4052
  • Sushi Fix, 862 E Lake St, Wayzata | 612.532.0305
  • Seward Cafe, 2129 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. Now open for dinner service. | 612.332.1011
  • Franklin Restaurant, 137 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Burch Steak, Burch Pizza Bar, 1942 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.843.1515
  • Glam Doll Donuts, 2605 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis | 612.345.7064
  • Red Cow, 3624 W 50th St, Minneapolis | 651.336.2179
  • Thrivent Cafe, 625 4th Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.844.8224
  • 612 Brew taproom, 945 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis | 612.217.0437
  • Steel Toe Brewing Taproom, 4848 W 35th St, St. Louis Park | 952.955.9965
  • Lago Tacos, 30 Water St, Excelsior | 952.300.8495
  • Nicollet Coffee, 2805 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis. Inside Nicollet Halal Market. | 612.872.1414
  • Smack Shack, Washington Ave N and 6th Ave N, Minneapolis | 651.317.4717
  • Lavvu Coffee House, 817 4th St SE, Minneapolis | 612.331.4136
  • Las Sirenas, 199 Plato Blvd, St. Paul | 651.888.2233
  • Grand Central, 1672 Grand Ave, St. Paul. New cafe from Shish Cafe owners. | 651.964.1015
  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Mall of America, Bloomington | 952.883.4223
  • Capitol Cafe, 2417 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.315.2470
  • Parka, 4023 E Lake St, Minneapolis | 612.886.1585
  • Dangerous Man Brewing, 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis | 612.209.2626
  • Northgate Brewing, 3134 California St NE, Minneapolis. Beers available on tap only. | 612.234.1056
  • Milton’s Cafe, 3545 Douglas Dr N, Crystal | 763.535.9373
  • BYO Burger, 1221 S Robert St, West St. Paul | 651.457.4800
  • Vitali’s Bistro, 5101 Minnetonka Blvd, St. Louis Park
  • Sky Bites, 811 LaSalle Ave (skyway), Minneapolis | 612.767.2480
  • The Sparrow Cafe, 5001 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.353.5177
  • Borough, 730 Washington Ave, Minneapolis | 612.354.3135

CLOSED / CLOSING:

  • Glory Days Bar & Grill, 500 5th Ave NW, New Brighton
  • Kinsen Noodles and Bar, 1300 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis
  • Fischerville Coffee House, 2150 Dodd Rd, Mendota Heights
  • Dean’s Tavern, 1986 Rice St, Maplewood
  • Midway Rendezvous Coffee, 518 Snelling Ave N, St. Paul
  • Midori’s Floating World, 2629 E Lake St, Minneapolis. Closed temporarily due to water main break. | 612.721.3011
  • Cat Man Do, 1659 Grand Ave, St. Paul
  • Pizza 3, 1556 Selby Ave, St. Paul
  • Boston Garden, 1019 Mainstreet, Hopkins

COMING UP:
Minneapolis

St. Paul

Greater Twin Cities Area

The Tap is the Heavy Table’s guide to area restaurant openings, closings, and other major events. The Tap is compiled and published biweekly by Heavy Table writer Jason Walker. If you have tips for The Tap, please email Jason at jason@heavytable.com.

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About the Author

Jason Walker

Jason Walker was born and raised in Kansas, where he grew up loving his grandmother’s homemade noodles and weekly fried fish. A summer internship in Milwaukee turned Jason and his wife, Leita, into die-hard fans of the Northwoods culture, and they moved to Minneapolis in 2006. Immediately the quality of food and drink in the Twin Cities was impressive – that even the most unassuming bar usually had a decent menu – and Jason knew he was home. Now living in the Fulton neighborhood with two kids, Jason grows tomatoes, cans voraciously, and badgers his neighbors with conversations about restaurants.

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